Letters of recommendation – who should I ask?
You should have at least one, and preferably 2 letters of recommendation from US psychiatrists. US letters tend to be written in the most embellished language ‘Dr x was the best student I ever had and will no doubt become the leading psychiatrist of his generation’ – so be careful. You should have 1 letter from Internal Medicine, and it is fine to have letters from your home country or other countries as long as they are written in good English, and again go in to detail about how you are the best thing since sliced bread. In US terms good=bad, very good = satisfactory, excellent = good, outstanding = very good, exceptional = excellent. So it will come across negatively if your letter reads ‘Dr x is a good clinician, whose attendance and punctuality were satisfactory. I have no concerns about his professional behavior’ etc. Even though that may be standard in the rest of the world.
Ask between 4-5 people for letters (you need 3) as it is frustrating trying to get letters from busy people so if you find someone does not do it, you should still have enough.